Amid concerns of the spread of the Ebola virus, a University of Pennsylvania veterinarian wants pet owners know that there are no studies that support concerns that a dog would be able to transmit the Ebola virus to humans.
The Ebola virus outbreak is most often associated with the eating of bushmeat (non-domesticated mammals, reptile, amphibians and birds) in West Africa. The virus is then spread to humans through direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids.
Wild dogs that have eaten infected bushmeat develop antibodies that protect them against the virus. However, there is no evidence that they can contract or transmit the disease. According to the associate professor of microbiology at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, it is highly unlikely that a dog or cat would be able transmit the disease.
While the dog that was infected with the Ebola virus in Madrid was euthanized last Wednesday, the dog who tested positive for Ebola in Texas will be kept safe and monitored.
It is always important to be cautious, but Ronald Harty, Ph.D., reminds the public that it’s also important not to panic. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the risk of dogs spreading the Ebola virus is very small in the U.S., as well as in other countries where dogs aren’t near corpses or infected animals.